‘Trailblazers and Truth Tellers’ to show movies of female triumphs to honor Women’s History Month

“Women’s History Month is an opportunity to highlight women’s accomplishments and amplify their voices,” Women’s Center program coordinator Claire Snyder said. “That’s why we titled this series ‘Trailblazers and Truth Tellers.’”

Trailblazers and Truth Tellers” is a series of movie nights the Marshall University’s Women’s Center and Housing and Residence Life provide for students over the course of March.

In each of the true stories depicted in these films, women confronted discrimination, exploitation and injustice with grace and courage,” Snyder said. “It’s important that we revisit these stories that have been hidden or discounted for too long.”

“Hidden Figures” played on Tuesday, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” screens on Monday, and “Confirmation” will conclude the movie series on March 26.

Snyder said that people should remember that progress is not always linear; there has been progress, but there is still discrimination.

“We don’t celebrate Women’s History Month to just say, ‘Wow, things were bad but we’ve come a long way, baby,’” Snyder said. “Like Henrietta Lacks, women still face discrimination in healthcare. Like the NASA computers, women are still underrepresented in the STEM fields, and as anyone with a social media feed knows, our nation is reckoning like never before with the sexual harassment Anita Hill called out decades ago. So, these stories are just as relevant today as they were when they occurred. We watch them on film not to congratulate ourselves but rather to learn and be inspired.”

Snyder said she hopes students recognize that the films affected actual lives.

These films depict lots of hard, ugly, uncomfortable truths,” Snyder said. “They ask us to put ourselves in the characters’ shoes and wonder how we would have reacted, how we would have participated in shoring up or tearing down sexism, racism and injustice of all kinds. I hope students will, perhaps, gain some new perspective on social justice issues in the news today and be inspired to speak truth and take action in their own lives.”

Michaela Crittenden can be contacted at [email protected].